amicable wins High Court Judgment allowing couples to divorce without lawyers

Royal Courts of Justice
Originally published on 20th January 2020 at 11:40 AM

This is a good day for anyone separating and wanting to do so amicably, at reasonable cost and putting their children first.  A judgment in the High Court has validated our model of working with couples rather than individuals and helping couples negotiate financial settlements together rather than having to seek separate legal advice. This judgment will change the legal landscape forever.  

It’s been our mission since we started amicable to change the way the world divorces. We’ve created a process that is less punishing on people, that’s more focused on mental wellbeing and that puts any children at its heart. We’ve used innovative technology to complete tasks that many legal professionals charge a great deal for and so kept costs down and ensured more people than ever have access to justice. We’ve won awards for our social purpose and been voted Britain’s 4th most disruptive company in an industry led and managed by traditionalists. We have created positive change. Now amicable has won praise and recognition from one of the country’s leading high court judges.

WHAT’S CHANGED?

The law has been clarified to put beyond any doubt that couples can ask a single legal professional to draft their financial agreements into a leading binding order, called a consent order. This opens the door for many people to achieve a more amicable divorce – something we have always been passionate about. The law has also been clarified to show that a lawyer or solicitor does not have to draft divorce and financial order documentation.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

This means more choice for people who are divorcing and separating. The validation of our model, coupled with the changes likely to come from the passing of No-Fault Divorce legislation soon, means couples are more able to work together to separate and put the needs of their children first. It’s a seismic shift away from an adversarial system to one that more closely represents the sort of society we want to be.

WHAT’S AN AMICABLE DIVORCE?

Most people assume they need a lawyer if divorcing.  However, for many people, engaging two lawyers and creating two sides, can hinder rather than help the process of sorting out finances. For an increasing number of couples their priority is not to ‘take each other to the cleaners’ but instead to come up with a pragmatic solution to splitting finances and sorting out arrangements for children.

Of course, some people will need the protection of a lawyer. If you are in an abusive relationship, or your ex won’t work with you to negotiate a settlement, is hiding money or putting it into accounts where you cannot access it, then a lawyer will help you use the court to sort things out and protect you.  The judgement, however, will give more people the opportunity to understand their options and explore alternative ways of navigating their divorce, and doing so amicably.

amicable is the country’s leading couple’s divorce service. We are committed to working with couples rather than individuals to help you sort out your separation, divorce, finances and childcare arrangements. Our Divorce Coaches are experts in working with people together – something that takes a unique understanding of the emotions during a break-up as well as the law. It’s this unique ability that enables us to achieve positive outcomes for so many families.

If you are separating or divorcing and would like to learn more about an amicable divorce, then email us on [email protected] or call 0203 004 4695. 

You can read the full judgment here

About the author

Kate Daly is a co-founder of amicable and host of The Divorce Podcast. Kate is a divorce expert and helps couples and separated parents navigate divorce and separation amicably. She's passionate about changing the way the world divorces and campaigns for fairer divorce laws and access to justice.

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